Warehouse Workers

Gender Equality in Workplaces

Gender equality in workplaces has always been questionable, but this gap is more prevalent in the supply chain industry. A  survey conducted by Procurement Leaders in 2017 found that women fill a mere 10% of the most senior supply chain management professional roles; resulting in a 9:1 ratio of men to women in executive SCM roles (Forbes 2017).

Contrary to the belief that women don’t have a significant role in the supply chain industry, promoting diversity in the workplace by enrolling more women can lead to an organization’s growth and development in many ways.

Read ahead to know the benefits of gender diversity in the workplace (especially in the supply chain sector) and how the changes have started to incorporate into the supply chain sector.

Importance of Gender Equality

According to a study conducted by Catalyst of Fortune 500 companies, companies operating in the supply chain sector with a high representation of women in leading positions gained a 35% greater return on equity and 34% higher return to shareholders as compared to the companies with a lower representation of women.

Companies with a minimum of three women board directors experienced a 66% higher return on invested capital, a 53% higher return on equity, and a 42% higher return on sales. Thus, we can say that a business is likely to get better outcomes with equal representation of women in the workforce.

Digital Revolution and the Transformation of Supply Chain

Physical strength and ability to deal with mental pressure were considered irreplaceable virtues for supply chain professionals, which are not considered to be part of the female psyche. These biases started to shift with the onset of the digital era that revolutionized the global supply chain industry. Digital revolution has simplified connectivity among suppliers, consumers, product designers, and workers. Intricate processes such as worldwide expansion and customer satisfaction, and increased need for managerial expertise in this field have created more opportunities for women.

Women Friendly Policies to Promote Gender Equality

In recent years, supply chain businesses have started reshaping the organization structure to attract and engage more women in the workplace. Gartner and AWESOME conducted a study in which respondents said that they had specific or general goals to recruit, develop and retain women employees. Undeniably, small but effective changes have started to defeat the prevailing gender stereotypes. Even the attitude of attitude of male co-workers regarding their female counterparts has transformed.

Benefits of Gender Diversity

Benefits of gender diversity in the workplace go beyond execution and delivery to customer satisfaction. With more procurement leaders as women, businesses can uplift the customer value of their organization as women are believed to be more compassionate and sensitive. Soft and empathetic characteristics of their personality, gives them the ability to understand customer requirements and deal with them efficaciously. This is why women make more than 80% of all consumer decisions.

What Procurement Leaders Have to Say?

Sheri Spinks, Director, Global Supply Chain, NPS at Husky Injection Molding Systems said that she would like to encourage women to get into the space of supply chain and procurement, to be educated and to be vocal about the value they can add to organizations. She believes that women have a different perspective on negotiation and relationship building, and they are more empathetic. “We are good listeners and great at multitasking; a set of skills that are greatly valued when it comes to a supply chain or procurement role.”

Sheri is also the Executive Secretary & Director of the Global Council for the Advancement of Women in Procurement, a global group of more than 2,500 members. Its focus is on attracting and retaining women in procurement and supply chain. It also offers the necessary skills and tools to women to empower themselves and advance their careers.

Conclusion

Where professions like teaching, medicine, writing and research are doing reasonably well in narrowing the gender gap, supply chain is still far behind. Supply chain management professionals are consciously molding it to achieve all the benchmarks necessary to qualify as a winner. With continuous efforts to reduce the gender gap in the supply chain industry, a healthy, diverse workplace does not seem to be an unachievable goal.

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